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Capitol complex crow dispersal program

The Crow Dispersal Program is an annual effort overseen by the Department of General Services' Capitol Police to minimize the number of crows roosting in and around the Capitol Complex during the evening.

Why are you doing this?

The Crow Dispersal Program is initiated each year to deter large numbers crows from the Capitol Complex for two primary reasons: safety and maintenance.  Bird droppings on sidewalks and buildings create an unsightly and unsafe environment for employees and visitors.  Bird droppings over an extended period of time can adversely affect buildings exteriors and sidewalk surfaces, resulting in a substantial amount of time and labor for cleaning.

When does this program start and how long will it last?

The Crow Dispersal Program will commence on November 20, 2017 between 5-9 p.m.  Anti-roosting efforts will be repeated each evening until the crow population in the Capitol Complex has been minimized.  The program will last throughout winter months.  This program takes place every year during the same general time frame.

What procedure is done to thwart the crows from roosting in the Capitol Complex?

Capitol Police fire caps, blanks or screamers via pistols and rifles.  The noise generated by these devices discourages crows from roosting for the night in the Capitol Complex area.

Is this harmful to the crows?

No, this anti-roosting measure is not harmful to the crows, other animals, people or the environment.  DGS has consulted with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop the program.

How long has this program been underway?

This program started in 1997 and has even been featured on numerous local and national news programs.  Although effective, the Crow Dispersal Program is a continual maintenance program and must be repeated each year.

Where will this be done?

Capitol Police will station officers around the Capitol Complex in areas where crows like to roost, such as, near large trees or near buildings where they may seek warmth.

What can I expect to hear?

The program involves the discharge of blanks (similar to the sound of firecrackers popping) as well as whistling devices.

Why can’t the program start later in the evening?

The start time is dictated by how soon it becomes dark.  Crows will not fly after dark.  Therefore, the earlier night falls, the earlier operations must commence.